It’s 2019. We can safely say that skills gaps are not going away – the gap just moves.
Fast Lane has worked with companies that span numerous industries, ranging from Fortune 100 financial institutions to national fast food chains to start-up shops. Each industry is afflicted with similar issues that are rooted with the same problem – there is a new major skills gap due to the rapid changes in technology.
Microsoft is one of the pioneers in recognizing this issue and has put forth a monumental effort to close this latest skills gap for both the short and long term. As a Microsoft Gold Learning Partner, Fast Lane has the unique ability to support Microsoft’s efforts and to help spearhead the initiatives needed to revolutionize today’s digital landscape.
Why do we believe in Microsoft’s ability to thrive in this new digital era?
1. Microsoft is committed to education
Microsoft, with the help of Fast Lane, has implemented courses throughout higher education establishments across the world. For example, The University of London is integrating new Microsoft online courses into its Master’s in Data Science, so that students can learn the digital skills that employers need. Students have access to tutors and online forums, just as they would a traditional course, ensuring mastery in the application of technology to real-world problems.
2. Simplified learning paths
Microsoft has decided to stray from the traditional technology-focused learning paths and move toward learning and certification based on a student’s specific job role. This means students now have an easier time determining which training path is right for them as they match career paths. With less confusion on an individual’s specified job role comes a greater understanding of the required course curriculum.
The clearest way to see Microsoft’s shift to role-based paths would be through the Microsoft Professional Program (MPP). This Microsoft technical skills program contains numerous self-study courses, which have been created and tailored by industry experts including:
- Data Science
- Big Data
- Cyber Security
- IT Support
- Artificial Intelligence
- Entry Level Software Development
New job-role learning paths are being added to the MPP, ensuring that more student’s roles are represented and also ensuring that each recommended path is as robust and comprehensive as possible. The courses in the MPP feature hands-on labs so you can practice with tools used in the field today. Plus, each course includes assessments to ensure that students have absorbed the correct knowledge and for each track can earn a certificate of completion directly from Microsoft proving knowledge and skills mastery.
3. Eyes on the future
According to US Department of Labor, 65% of today’s students will end up working in jobs that don’t exist when they start university. This amazing statistic has caused organizations to adapt new ways of teaching, training and preparing workers for tomorrow’s jobs. Microsoft, seeing this as an opportunity, has joined forces with government agencies, higher education institutions and non-profits to provide an opportunity to prepare for 2020 and beyond.
Separate research has found that 808 million people need to learn new skills for their current jobs. Forty percent of employers said skill shortages are having a negative impact on their business and 50 million people are needed to fill open, technical jobs in the next 10 years. With startling statistics like these, Fast Lane and Microsoft see an opportunity to impact change and help people and companies by extending real job skills to the those that need it most.
Fast Lane believes in Microsoft’s mantra that technology is synonymous with possibility, adaptability and capability. But in the end, it’s not about what technology can do, it’s about what we can do with it.